Friday, February 27, 2009

Adriana & her new sibs

Our German Pinscher, Taryn had surgery last weekend to remove a "bump" on her chest, luckily it turned out to be harmless, however, she had to have a few stitches. Adriana decided it would be best if she stayed home all week with her new sissy to help watch over her & take care of her.

Unfortunatley, I think Matisse was jealous that Taryn was getting all of Adriana's attention :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Something old, but is actually quite new.....

© 2009 Tracy Borders

It's journal time again :) I just love making journals & this one was for a co-worker of mine. I call this one "Faux Leather". It's actually made from modeling paste that I have hand rubbed in MANY layers of Golden Fluid Acrylics' Iridescent Micaceous Iron Oxide, Interference Oxide Green & Iridescent Bright Gold. (It's a very good thing that the paint washes off your hands very easily, what a mess, which I'm a pro at making!!)

As I've mentioned in previous posts, one of the wonderful qualities of using modeling paste & paint, is that you can use any old ugly fabric that you like since you'll be covering it completely with the modeling paste & the Golden Acrylics.

I love how the modeling paste gives off the appearance of a really old & worn book. If I had to recreate that same texture, I'm not sure I could. I spread a very thin layer of modeling paste onto the fabric & then went back in with a putty knife & made big "swoops" (is that a real word) into the paste & then let it dry. This time, I was pleased to see that there was some cracking in the dried modeling paste since I was able to make those cracks work with this piece.

As for sealing this piece, it could probably float in a bath tub of water for over a month (but please don't try it) this journal has at least 7 layers of Golden's Polymer Medium on the surface. I had a small issue with 3 tiny cracks when I was finished with the journal & I wanted to make sure that the cracks were painted & sealed well & they still worked well within the journal.

The interior, I painted canvas with the same Golden Acrylics & sealed it (only once) with the Polymer Medium. I'm not sure I'd use the canvas again as it was a little stiff & didn't want to cooperate well when it was folded over to be closed. I made the removable note pad that fits inside the journal. Still not sure what I'm going to do with over 250 binding wires cut in half, which makes me now 500 binding wires, but hey I got a great deal on them & that's totally ANOTHER story!!

As for the closure, I always seem to get hung up on the finishing details of a piece. I was happy with what I ended up using. The co-worker I made this for, needed it to open very easily & she didn't want to have to mess around with a cord that would have been wrapped around the journal & the button a few times, so I used elastic cord. It was easy to create, opens quickly with it & it doesn't detract from the journal overall.

LOVE how this journal turned out!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hand Dyed Bamboo Gradations

I added some dyed gradations of bamboo poplin to my Etsy store. They're a 9-step gradation using Procion Dyes. For the set above, I used a deep navy.

For Sale

I think the Moss Green, above might be my favorite of the three!! Kym from kimbuktu Etsy store, did a trade with me for some of this fabric & she made the MOST beautiful bag from my fabric. I told her, if I didn't already have one of her beautiful quilted bags, that this one would be mine!! I have a feeling, this bag might sell pretty quickly!

For Sale

This was dyed with Turkish Red. Kym also received some of this color but her's was dyed with cotton muslin. Check out her bag she made with this fabric. LOVE those squiggles :). It's so nice to see what someone else can do with the fabric that you've dyed. Thanks Kym!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Visiting Laura Bee Designs

I had to pick up a handbag that I had Laura Bee Designs custom make for me over the weekend & Adriana wanted to go too. This is my second custom made bag from Laura & I love it as much as the first one she made for me. It is a very cool store! There are design tables & all the materials needed to create your very own unique handbag.

Here's the first handbag she made for me. I must have done something right since I see now that they offer that exact bag on their website. Laura has also made me a mini wallet, wristlet & what's called a Wendy wallet, all to match this handbag. (A girl's gotta accessorize!!)

I LOVE this bag, it's huge inside, it can hold a water bottle, my wallet, keys & cell phone & still have plenty room for other things, the problem is that when I wear my winter jacket it doesn't match (I know, what a terrible thing) but it really is, since my winter jacket is an olive green. So how do you fix that? I know, have Laura create me another handbag. She has visited my blog & knew that I love green & we came up with this bag below & as an added bonus, check out the interior color she did for me. You can only see it when you unzip the bag :)

So after the business part was done, Adriana was off to check out the shop.

I need a handbag this big.

Possibly something in red?

This is a nice color.

Look at all the pretty ribbon.

I like this button!!

I like the gray wristlet.

Look at all the pretty wallets.

Laura's pretty handbags.

Are you related to my momma?

Adriana & I had such a wonderful time at Laura Bee's. If you live locally, you really need to check out her shop, she has a lot of fun items, from mini wallets to messenger bags & you can design your own one of a kind handbag. If you don't live locally, Laura is really great at working with you through her online site, Laura Bee Designs.

Thanks for two VERY wonderful handbags Laura, you know you haven't seen the last of me (but don't tell my DH that.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something different.............

Do you ever have this happen when you're at an Art Fair or you see something in a magazine & think to yourself, "I wonder if I could make one of those?" One of my friends has one of those drawstring backpacks that she got from the company she works for as a promotional type gift & it was kind of tacky, it was made from cheap acetate-like plastic & it had the company's name imprinted HUGE on the bag. I thought to myself, she wears that bag all of the time, what a great idea to try making her a nicer one & give to her as a Christmas gift. Here's how it turned out. Just to let you know, I had no patterns or instructions to follow & I learned A LOT as I was making the bag.

© 2009 Tracy Borders

© 2009 Tracy Borders

I hand dyed raw silk & cotton velveteen in different gradations of brown. (The colors are a lot richer than what you see in the photos.) I'm not sure I'd use those fabrics together again when constructing a piece. The fabrics moved all over the place. They were both somewhat stretchy & worked against each other while I tried to sew the blocks together, so I fixed that by adding a fusible interfacing to the backing of both fabrics. For the inside, I lined it with hand dyed (brown) cotton & added a couple of pockets, which I learned later, should have been placed towards the top of the bag instead of the bottom (everything seemed to land into the pockets at the bottom of the bag.)

© 2009 Tracy Borders

(That's my friend modeling her new bag.) I vowed after I made this one, that if I wanted one for myself, that I would buy one. Maybe, after I've been away from it for awhile, I might go back & try to make one for myself out of bamboo, NOT velveteen or raw silk!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Work day for Adriana

Adriana wanted to go to work with me & promised me she'd behave, but as you see, she was in to everything!!

Don't you dare!!

No, this is not a shower!

Wow!! Monkey bars!!

Look no hands!!

Adriana, Queen of the Jungle

Let me bind for you.

She finally calmed down & spent the rest of the day at my desk.

Hangin' out with mom at her desk.

I'm going to Laura Bee Designs tomorrow to pick up a handbag, I had Laura custom make for me & yes it's green, I can hardly wait!!! Maybe Adriana will come along & check things out!

I can't wait to show you my new handbag, TRUST me, I'll be blogging about it next week!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Love Jesus but I Drink a Little

Jennifer aka "Blueskysunburn", from Trial & Error posted a comment on my blog & when I went to visit her site, she had this posted & I HAD to share it with you. I laughed so hard that I cried, so I thought I'd share it with you hoping that maybe you might get a little giggle out of it as well :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Turquoise with Purple Etsy Treasury

Kim from ThatSomething chose my Peacock Colored Journal for her Etsy Treasury. I love the colors that she chose, so nice & bright. Thanks, Kim!

When you get the chance, check out her Etsy store, she has some really nice pieces!

Monday, February 9, 2009

On Cloud 9

I've been dyeing fibers for over 20 years & for 15 of them, Dharma Trading has kept me in the supplies I need to create my art. Dharma is a fabulous company to do business with, from their high quality fabrics, their wonderful customer service & their attention to the environment.

I subscribe to their monthly newsletter, like I'm sure some of you do. In their newsletter, you can see below where they have sections for Featured Artists, new catalogs, sales & new items just added to their store.

As I was reading at the bottom of the screen, in tiny, tiny print, they mentioned that if anyone had used their products in finished pieces, to please email them & they might include those photos on their website. Since I do most of my hand dyeing on their bamboo poplin, I sent them photos of 3 different pieces. Within 15 minutes, Sam from Dharma emailed me & said that they would love to have me as a Featured Artist in their newsletter & will be featured on their home page!!! I was & STILL am SO excited, I still get goose bumps just thinking about it!!

So, come April, those that subscribe to Dharma's monthly emailed newsletter, you'll see me as one of their featured artists!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Newest Member of the Family

I would like to introduce to you Adriana.

Adriana arrived on my doorstep, wrapped in a very beautiful golden Pashmina via Michele at EyEmbellishments. Michele has a weekly Sunday post on her blog dedicated to her Sock Sibs. They get to go on all kinds of adventures & sometimes get themselves in to trouble. I had mentioned to Michele that if one or two of them would like to go to Rome & Croatia with me in May they were more than welcome. Then Adrianna showed up on my door step. My very own Sock Sib, how generous of Michele!! Adriana is the twin sister to Hobie Obie that you can view on Michele's blog.

Hobie & Adriana are the envy of all the other Sock Sibs. This brother & sister duo have special powers that the other Sibs don't. They can stick to magnetic things & they can hold things in their arms.

Look ma, no hands!!

Adriana, you've been here one day & have already

found the liquor cabinet, will have to keep an eye on you!

Mom, is this for me?

Matisse, my bengal, was kind enough to introduce himself to his new sister the night that she arrived. (I think Adriana was a little nervous.)

I cannot wait to take her with me in May, we have plans to visit Vatican City & Adriana wants to see the Coliseum (me too!!)

I hope to post Adriana's adventures here every Friday, so check back & see what's she's been getting herself into. She just went to the office with me yesterday & had a wonderful time. I'll post those pics next Friday. Here's a small sample of what I caught her doing.

Adriana, don't you dare!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another painted bondaweb piece......

.........(& probably my last). This piece developed from my sampling with painted bondaweb & Angelina Fibers.

© 2009 Tracy Borders
I left the backing on the bondaweb & painted it with Golden Acrylics Dioxazine Purple. After the paint dried (still leaving the backing paper on) I fused Angelina Fibers to the surface, using a pressing sheet & waiting for it to completely cool before I removed the pressing sheet. I then, peeled the backing paper off VERY gently & cut it into strips of different widths.

Sitting that aside, I hand dyed bamboo poplin & cheesecloth to match the purple color from the painted bondaweb. I then fused the cheesecloth, with white Misty Fuse to the bamboo. Before I cut these into strips, I fused bondaweb to the back side of the bamboo fabric & peeled away the backing paper. (This step really comes in handy a little bit later.)

After the first two rows of bamboo poplin were woven, they were then fused (ever so gently) with a Teflon pressing sheet, onto a piece of Peltex that was precut to finished size. With the bamboo being backed with bondaweb & the painted bondaweb, they fused to each other & to the Peltex all at the same time.

If you're wondering what type of bondaweb was used, I used the fairly inexpensive, thin type that's sold at JoAnn fabrics. I've talked to others that have tried this technique & discovered that they had problems with thicker & yes older, bondaweb that they had laying around in their studios for awhile. Apparently, they had problems with it not completely releasing from the backing paper.

As I stated before, I think this will probably be my last project with painted bondaweb. Handling the bondaweb, from removing the paper backing after applying the fused Angelina Fibers to weaving the strips required great patience & total relaxation on my part. It's quite fragile to work with, so I found myself walking away during the weaving process a few times just to relax myself & to calm down :)

Think I'll just happily go back to how I like to use it...............for bonding one fabric to another :)